Northern Star: The Haugens

The Haugens and the Eskomos will look to extend an 11 game win streak, on the road this Friday against Roseau.

ESKO, Minn.- In baseball everything starts at home. and in the Haugen household two brothers and their father get to share their love of the game, all on the same Diamond.

“Kind of have a built-in friend, I guess, as your brother. You come to the field together, go play catch together. If we’re at home we can say, ‘let’s go hit and we’ll go hit,” says senior Cale Haugen.

For Esko’s Sam and Cale Haugen, it’s always been baseball. 

“We’ve always had a big backyard, we’ve always been able to play catch. When we were younger, I can’t remember a day when we weren’t outside playing baseball or whiffle ball or anything like that. Once we got older and more mature, we worked on the more finite things about baseball and it really helped us compliment each other with the game,” says sophomore Sam Haugen. 

Well the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

“Ever since they could walk they were being brought to the ballpark. When I lived in Hinkley I played amateur baseball and my wife would bring Cale to those games, so they just kind of knew that baseball was what I did and so they just kind of naturally wanted to do it. We built a whiffle park in our backyard and we used to play 2 on 1, them two against myself. It got pretty heated a lot of the time, until I couldn’t beat them anymore and I just was done with it but, we used to play at least one game every day in the summer,” says Esko head coach Ben Haugen. 

Head coach Ben Haugen has been at the helm of the Eskomos for the past 17 seasons. and when it came time for Cale and Sam to suit up in the blue and yellow, it was clear they would have to earn their spot just like everyone else. 

“We understand his personality and his coaching style a little better so we can kind of take the criticism a little better than other people,” says Cale.

“All throughout our younger years, playing baseball, basketball and football, he’s been our coach for almost all of it and he pushes us but in the long run, it helps us,” says Sam. 

“I’m pretty hard on them. I’m too hard on them, I know I am. I think part of that’s planned on my behalf and I think some of it I just expect a lot out of them,” says Ben. 

Cale is the lone senior on the team. This time next year he’ll trade being an Eskomo for a Maverick, committing to play at Minnesota State Mankato.

“I’m looking forward to playing college baseball but I’ve lived here my whole life, I’ve played sports here my whole life. It’s going to suck, honestly to not be able to play on this team anymore but I have tons of memories I can bring with me. I’m not going to be sad about anything, I’m going to move forward but it is going to be hard to leave it behind,” says Cale. 

While Sam and Cale are brothers by blood, they have 15 other teammates they consider brothers too. 

“We’ve always competed against each other, we’ve always competed with each other and having that good youth league and having it translate up into varsity baseball is the key factor. I think we have one of the best team camaraderie out of a lot of teams in this area and all the same kids play basketball and football so we make that brotherhood that much stronger from two other sports as well,” says Cale.

It’s been a great year for the Eskomos this season. They’ll look to extend an 11 game win streak, Friday on the road against Roseau. 

Categories: High School, Northern Star, Sports